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Mark's Top 25 Sega Genesis Games - Page 5


#5.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
#5.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2
Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Before I hear everyone cry, "What? Why is this not number 1?" hear me out. Sonic 2 is amazing, and it is considered one of the best--if not the best--Sonic games by many. There is a good reason for this, as it is perfection of 16-bit gaming of the platform kind. It also put Genesis ahead of the SNES for a brief time and lured Nintendo fans into the arms of "edgy" and "cool" Sega. My brother and I played this game all the time; I would be Sonic and he would be Tails. We would race through the game as fast as we could, before we even knew that speedrunning was a thing. This game also introduces Super Sonic and thus in my mind Sonic was a superhero. However, over the years, I realized that a lot of Sonic 2 was left on the cutting room floor. There are four levels that never made it into the final version. These levels were Hidden Palace Zone, Wood Zone, Dust Hill Zone, and Genocide City Zone. Because of these omitted levels, I began to wonder if maybe Sonic 2 would have been better by their inclusion. Luckily, there is a ROM hack online called Sonic 2 Long Version which restores these levels to the game, making the game more rounded in my opinion. The iOs version of Sonic 2 also adds Hidden Palace Zone as an official secret, so if you love Sonic 2, I suggest looking up these versions to see what was left out of the original.


#4.
CASTLEVANIA: BLOODLINES
Castlevania: Bloodlines
#4.
CASTLEVANIA: BLOODLINES
Castlevania: Bloodlines

Konami really was king of third party games once upon a time. This Genesis exclusive Castlevania is superb and boasts that amazing Konami soundtrack as well as gameplay and visuals. I know this may be blasphemy, but I think Bloodlines is even better than Super Castlevania IV on the SNES. Bloodlines has you traveling all over the world to stop Dracula's resurrection. This time you choose between two Vampire Hunters: John Morris (A descendent of Quincy Morris from Bram Stoker's novel), who wields the iconic vampire killer whip, and Eric Lecarde who wields the holy Alucard Spear (a gift from THAT ALUCARD). Both play very different, with Eric having longer range and John having the ability to use his whip to swing on the ceiling. The game has you go throughout Europe from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to a WWI German Munitions factory. It has such a unique setting and actually got a spiritual sequel on the Nintendo DS in the form of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. I don't care what you say, I think Bloodlines is better than Castlevania IV for its setting and for allowing for two different characters to play through the game.


#3.
STREETS OF RAGE 2
Streets of Rage 2
#3.
STREETS OF RAGE 2
Streets of Rage 2

Earlier I mentioned that TMNT Hyperstone Heist was not the king of beat em ups on the Genesis. That is because that title goes to this perfect game. There are few games that grace gamers with a perfection of their genre, but this, my friends, is one of them. SoR2 took everything that made the first one great and doubled it. So many move combinations, and the soundtrack schools the SNES on how to make catchy beats that are just begging to be remixed. This game has style, gameplay, and is the textbook example of how to make a fun and balanced beat em up. The SNES may have Final Fight in their corner, but the Sega exclusive Streets of Rage 2 calls it a chump.


#2.
PHANTASY STAR IV
Phantasy Star IV
#2.
PHANTASY STAR IV
Phantasy Star IV

I know the SNES or PS1 is king of JPRGs, I cannot argue that. The Genesis has few and far between anything that can stack up to the likes of Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, but the Genesis has its own Final Fantasy series that is overlooked and underrated. That series, my friends, is Phantasy Star. The fourth game in the series combined everything from the previous entries: magic, technology, the ability to travel to other planets, a cast of likable characters, and a story that is both bittersweet and motivating. Phantasy Star IV is a love letter to fans of Sci-Fi/Fantasy and a great send off to one of the best franchises in my opinion. This game is in my top 5 favorite RPGs of all time thanks to its amazing depth and sense of adventure on a truly epic scale. After this game, the series would venture into the world of online MMO style which was amazing as well, but Phantasy Star IV remains my favorite RPG on the system and a must play for anyone who wants to see Sega's answer to Final Fantasy.


#1.
SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES
Sonic & Knuckles
#1.
SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES
Sonic & Knuckles

I count this as one game, since it is what the original version of Sonic 3 was supposed to be. Sonic 3 & Knuckles combines both games into an epic, 14-level quest starring the blue blur, the two-tailed fox, and the enemy-turned-friend red echidna Knuckles. This game is my favorite game, hands down, on the Genesis, and words cannot describe by love for it. It is the best Sonic game (better than 2 and all others), and every level has amazing music and graphics. This is the peak of 2D platforming in my opinion and they broke the mold when they made this Sonic game (Sonic 4 is terrible and Knuckles Chaotix is unfinished). Sonic 3 & Knuckles has everything my inner child could want in a Sonic game. So many ways to race through a level, character specific abilities, 3 kinds of elemental shields, and two layers of super forms. The soundtrack was confirmed as being composed by Michael Jackson (who was un-credited due to controversy at the time). Even when Sonic made the jump to 3D, I still preferred this style of gameplay and would hook up my Genesis (even after having a Dreamcast) to play this game over and over. I hope Sonic Mania can live up to the legacy of this game (I doubt it, but I think it will still be good). Anyone who says Sonic was never good should get hit by this game flying at supersonic speed and reflect on what wrong turn they took in their life to have such an awful opinion. Although Sonic had many rough patches in later installments, this game reminds me that he was indeed the hero that Mobius deserved.



These games are proof that Genesis Really Does What Nintendon't.

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-Mark Steenburn 4/24/2017

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